Sep 29, 2021

Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19

Fundacion Merced gives nutrition & hygiene packs
Fundacion Merced gives nutrition & hygiene packs

More than a year after its onset, the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for children and youth worldwide. Through its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, Global Fund for Children is continuing to issue immediate grants to the community-based organizations keeping them safe.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, GFC has sent emergency grants to more than 140 partners in 38 countries. We have now issued 250+ emergency grants totaling more than $810,000 to our community-based partners worldwide, including partners in Haiti affected by both the pandemic and multiple natural disasters.

In India and other Asian countries, GFC’s partners have continued providing lifesaving support to children and their families amid a surge in coronavirus cases. Two GFC staff members shared how they have supported partners in India that are responding to increased threats to children, and how they have provided partners with home-based COVID-19 patient treatment training.

Across Asia, COVID-19 has also increased the vulnerability of children and young people to domestic violence, physical and online exploitation, trafficking, and forced marriage, and endangered their mental health. GFC’s partners remain critical sources of support in their communities and an essential resource for local government agencies as they seek to provide broader support during the pandemic.

In Central America, amid widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GFC’s partners in are finding creative ways to help children and adolescents continue their studies and combat COVID learning loss. In Nicaragua, for example, CREA has helped students overcome educational barriers before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can support our local partners at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Donate now to help grassroots organizations around the world protect the young people who are most at risk.

Rural Aid demonstrates proper hand washing
Rural Aid demonstrates proper hand washing
A LEEDO outreach worker distributing supplies
A LEEDO outreach worker distributing supplies
Jun 8, 2021

Responding to second wave of COVID-19 in South Asia

Outreach work in South Asia
Outreach work in South Asia

South Asia is experiencing a second, devastating wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Global Fund for Children has launched an extension relief effort through our Emergency Response Fund to help local partners in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka that are providing direct emergency relief and essential services to children and their communities. 

Throughout the region, the crisis has been exacerbated by limited hospital beds and oxygen supply, and there has been growing concern over the risks posed by COVID-19 variants. In addition, vaccinations are slow to reach those in need, while a lack of information has created an additional barrier to widespread inoculations.

State and social welfare agencies are struggling to support children and youth who have lost one or both parents, become caretakers for their parents or younger siblings, or are out of school and without access to safe spaces, food, and basic hygiene supplies.

GFC’s local partners in this region are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of these children and youth, as well as their communities. Many community-based organizations have stepped up to provide direct emergency support, including food, hygiene supplies, and medicine. They are also continuing to find ways to mitigate the long-term consequences of the pandemic through their existing programs for children and youth promoting livelihoods, gender equity, education, and safety.

In Bangladesh, for example,LEEDO is providing informal schooling, meals, temporary shelters, and permanent housing, in addition to distributing clothing, blankets, food, water, and hygiene supplies. APON is sending students essential books for home study; distributing food packages, masks, and hand sanitizer to hundreds of families; and providing monetary assistance.

In India, Avani is providing children with emergency supplies and COVID-19 prevention information, continuing to educate girls about menstrual health, and finding new ways to help young people. Rural Aid is continuing to protect children and youth at risk of trafficking.

You can support our local partners at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Donate now to help grassroots organizations in South Asia protect the young people who are most at risk.

Entering local shelter in South Asia
Entering local shelter in South Asia
Feb 9, 2021

GFC's hope for the future

Herbs from biodiversity walk with Faith Foundation
Herbs from biodiversity walk with Faith Foundation

During the coronavirus pandemic, more than 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries have experienced disruptions to their education, and 24 million children and youth – including more than 11 million girls – may drop out permanently due to the pandemic. The rapid global shift to online learning has also exacerbated the digital divide: two-thirds of school-aged children worldwide have no access to internet at home and are unable to attend virtual classes.

At the same time, the crisis is threatening children’s safety, wellbeing, and mental health. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, an additional 150 million children have been driven into poverty.

In response to this global crisis, we launched our Emergency Response Fund in March 2020 to issue cash grants to community-based organizations serving children who are affected. Since then:

Since our last report, we’ve published new survey data on the impact of COVID-19 on Global Fund for Children’s local partners. They told us about the challenges they are facing and the worries they have, as well as the unique ways they are building resilience to support children during this unprecedented moment.

These community-based organizations have quickly adapted to meet the emergency needs of young people and found creative ways to continue providing crucial services amid pandemic restrictions. In Nepal, one group dedicated to preventing human trafficking began covering rent, medical expenses, and cooking gas for struggling families. In the United Kingdom, a community resource center offered counseling sessions outdoors on park benches. In Mexico and India, local organizations launched radio programs to share vital information about the pandemic and child abuse prevention. These organizations, and many others, are also starting to plan for a future after COVID-19.

Our hope – and our commitment – is to work with and for youth to build a more just world beyond the pandemic. That’s why we started 2021 by creating the transformative Spark Fund as a resource for youth leaders and grassroots organizations leading the charge against injustice and inequality. This initiative is the first global fund for youth leadership that is truly participatory, and it will provide young leaders with flexible funds that allow them to take risks, innovate, experiment, collaborate, and learn.

 
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